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Gloucestershire Business News

Business expert: ‘If it’s too good to be true – then it probably is’

By David Woodfine, director at Cyber Security Associates 

We have all received the leaflets through the post-box, promising free gifts and entries into a lottery with a guaranteed winning gift.

But we don't fall for these and simply throw away the leaflets - so why don't we do the same when we receive these same promises by email?

The terms email phishing and spam are not new, but they continue to be used because they remain a successful way of tricking us into some form of interaction.

Anyone with an email address is a target, with the attacker trying to convince you to interact with the sent email. Opening the email is not enough for the attacker to get what he wants, but clicking on a link, opening a document or going to a web-site are all ways where the attacker could make a connection from his computer to your computer or device.

Once the attacker has made a connection, he can then download malicious software, also known as Malware, to infect your computer or device. Once this has happened the attacker could stop you gaining access to your computer and demand a ransom to allow you back in (Ransomware), or secretly get all your personal information including passwords to steal your identity or gain access to your bank accounts.

Sometimes the attacker does not even have to infect your computer, he could simply take you to a fake bank account page and ask you to put in your bank details - which he then has because you have simply given them to him.

Recently Action Fraud reported that they had received 5,000 complaints in just 3 months of victims receiving fake TV License emails regarding payment issues. The emails claim that TV Licencing has been trying to contact customers regarding the payment of a bill or a change to their personal information.

When a victim clicks on a link, they will be led to a convincing looking TV Licencing website. The website is designed to harvest as much personal and financial information as possible from the victim. Although all the emails are different in style, they all lead to the same website which is being hosted on different domains.

Cyber Security Associates recommends that we treat all emails with caution and remember promises of a free gift or a large lottery win are likely to be malicious and not legitimate. If in doubt go to the web-page direct rather than clicking the link in the email.

If you are worried about a phishing campaign could affect your business, then contact Cyber Security Associates direct for our eLearning packages. Click here, email or call 01452 886982 for more information.

If you are a victim of a phishing campaign then report it to Action Fraud.

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